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Standard Bank launches business banking awards worth R4.5 million

This story is sponsored

Johannesburg, August 2021

Intent on growing and investing in South African businesses and being a key partner with local enterprises, Standard Bank has launched its business banking awards. 

The national awards are targeted at South African businesses three years or older, which require  investment and mentoring to accelerate to their next phase of growth. 

Winners of awards will receive support from Standard Bank in the form of banking solutions, trade assistance, market access, transcontinental networking platforms and more — including receiving cash grant support between R500 000 and R2 million, and totalling R4.5 million in funding across the winning categories. 

Head of business clients South Africa, Simone Cooper, says “Running a new business has many challenges and obstacles that can lead to either failure or success. Up to 45% of businesses do not reach the five-year mark. And when they do reach that magical milestone and try to upscale, the failure rate shoots up to 75%.

At Standard Bank we want partner with these businesses and make an impact on their successful growth and development. Growth also comes with new obstacles, costs and expenses, and many businesses require funding assistance and guidance to navigate the next development phase of their business.” 

Entries are now open at and will run until 31 August. Businesses can enter according to the following three categories:

  1. Business of the year
  2. Best female business 
  3. Rising star

The prize breakdown per category is as follows: 

  • Business of the year overall winner: R2 million
  • Business of the year runner-up: R1 million
  • Business of the year second runner-up: R500 000
  • Best female business: R500 000
  • Rising star: R500 000

An independent panel of judges and industry experts will review applications and shortlist the top twenty entries. Finalists will be asked to provide data and financial information including supporting documents to assist the judges to review and score. Thereafter, the 10 finalists will be requested to present a virtual pitch to the judging panel.

“With the financing and assistance to be provided, we hope to support and upscale the winning businesses and businesspeople with the resources that they need to navigate their next phase of growth. At Standard Bank we understand the challenges that face small businesses in their early stages of growth,” adds Cooper.

“Business plays a crucial role in the growth of Africa. After all, businesses provide employment, fuel new economies, connect the continent and the rest of the world via trade and other innovative solutions for Africa. With the business awards and financial backing that we are providing we want to ensure that business growth and development is attained and sustained,” says Cooper.

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